Manila, Philippines – Syrian rebels who seized 21 Filipino U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights want the Red Cross to escort them out of the area because of fighting with Syrian government forces, the Philippine military said today.
The 21 peacekeepers were seized Wednesday near the Syrian village of Jamlah, just a mile from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights in an area where the U.N. force had patrolled a cease-fire line between Israel and Syria without incident for nearly four decades.
Philippine military spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said the rebels were willing to release the peacekeepers, and asked for the International Committee of the Red Cross to escort them to a safe area.
According to Burgos, the rebels said the peacekeepers have to be removed because there was heavy fighting in the area.
He said the information came from the U.N. command in the Golan Heights, which was negotiating for the release of the peacekeepers.
“They want the ICRC to pick them up and escort them,” Burgos said. “Hopefully they will really be released and we are also waiting for that.”
Ten Years After guitarist Lee, 68, dies unexpectedly
London – British rock guitarist Alvin Lee, founder of the band Ten Years After who burst to stardom with a memorable Woodstock performance, has died. He was 68.
A statement posted on Lee’s official website said he died Wednesday unexpectedly from complications following a routine surgical procedure. Lee’s manager, Ron Rainey, said the guitarist died in Spain.
The Nottingham, England-born Lee founded the band Ten Years After in 1967. The group first toured the U.S. in 1967, but its popularity exploded following Lee’s rousing performance of the song “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969, which later appeared in the documentary film about the legendary festival.
Ten Years After released 10 albums together featuring the group’s mix of blues, swing jazz and rock and toured the U.S. 28 times in seven years.
Lee left the band in 1975 to embark on a successful solo career that saw him recording with the likes of George Harrison, Steve Winwood and Mick Fleetwood and experimenting with different styles of country rock, rhythm and blues.
In total, Lee released more than 20 albums over a 45-year career.